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Psychology (1,877)
PS101 (450)


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Wilfrid Laurier University
Jim Mc Cutcheon

10/27/2013 8:31:00 AM What is learning? Process by which experience produces a relatively enduring change in behavior or capabilities (knowing how to do something) How do we learn? Initially guided by 2 perspectives 1) Behaviorism 2) Ethology Behaviorism Focused on how organisms learn Examined processes by which experience influences behavior Discovered laws of learning that apply to virtually all organisms Treated organisms as tabula rasa Explained learning solely in terms of directly observable event Avoided unobservable “mental states” Behaviorism and Learning Respondent AKA: Classical or Pavlovian Operant AKA: Skinnerian or Instrumental Respondent Conditioning Based on internal responses to naturally occurring stimuli Something’s we encounter in the world naturally elicit a response in us When we pair things that don’t have a value, or have a different value with these naturally occurring pairings, the new item will come to take on the new meaning Language of Respondent Conditioning Four Terms: UCS/US = Unconditioned Stimulus (lemon) UCR/UR = Unconditioned Response (mouth water) CS = Conditioned Stimulus CR = Conditioned Response UCS and UCR Unconditioned stimulus Stimulus that elicits a reflexive or innate, unconditioned response without prior learning Unconditioned response Reflexive or innate response elicited by the UCS without prior learning (face puckers) CS and CR Conditioned stimulus Stimulus that, through association with the UCS, comes to elicit a conditioned response similar to the original UCR Conditioned response Response elicited by a conditioned stimulus Getting a response Natural Responses are unconditioned responses evoked in response to an unconditioned stimulus Infant natural response example UCS---------------------------UCR Sugar Smile, lip licking Adult natural pairing UCS---------------------------UCR Lemon Face pucker Animal natural response UCS---------------------------UCR Food Drooling/Salivating Adding natural stimulus Can I make something that is natural, or relatively meaningless become meaningful? Animal conditioned response (Pavlov’s Study) Pavlov Studied salivary responses in dogs Natural responses – no learning involved Noted dogs salivated at sounds (footsteps; tone) How did the association with the tone come about? Types of CS-UCS pairings Forward short-delay CS (tone) still present when food (UCS) presented Optimal learning Forward trace CS appears and then goes off Best if delay is no more than 2-3 seconds Simultaneous Presented at the same time Learning is slower Backward Presented afterward Little learning Factors that Enhance Acquisition Multiple CS-UCS pairings Intense, aversive UCS can produce one-trial learning Forward (short-delay) pairing Time interval between onset of CS and onset of UCS is short Extinction and Spontaneous Recovery Extinction Process in which CS is presented in absence of UCS Causes CR to weaken and eventually disappear Spontaneous Recovery After a rest period and without any new learning trials, the reappearance of a previously extinguished CR Usually weaker than initial CR, extinguishes more rapidly Generalization & Discrimination Generalization Stimuli similar to initial CS elicit a CR Aids in survival Discrimination CR occurs to one stimulus but not to another Higher Order Conditioning Chain of events which has 2 CS stimuli Expands influence of classical conditioning on behaviour (Black square with tuning fork can…remove the tuning fork and the black square will elicit the same stimuli with same outcome) Variables Affecting Respondent Conditioning Response Dominance Refers to the relative strengths of responses elicited by the CS and UCS before they are paired Best result when UCS is stronger Review of these from earlier Temporal Order CS before UCS Interstimulus Interval CS UCS close together Extinction Gradual Systematic desensitization Non Gradual Flooding –real events Implosion –imagine events Classical/Respondent/Pavlovian Conditioning influences many things Attraction to other people Positive, negative attitudes Both of above used in advertising (beer company hot chick) Conditioning aversions Dislike a certain food/drink because you became sick? Anticipatory nausea and vomiting (ANV) Common among cancer patients Operant Conditioning Differences between classical & operant conditioning Classical Behaviour changes due to association of two stimuli (CS-UCS) presented prior to the response (CR) Oper
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